Christian Dior’s first fashion show occurred in Paris on February 12, 1947. Afterwards, influential fashion editor Carmel Snow exclaimed, “It was quite a revolution, dear Christian! Your dresses have such a new look!” Snow’s praise highlights how the trend could be described as trickle-down. It wasn’t something that everyday people were doing at the time. It was something started by people at the top: an on-the-raise fashion designer and a powerful person in fashion media.
Conversely, Dior’s new style might be described as trickle-up. It was based on what was happening in the world at the time. World War Two was over and so were the restrictions on sundry materials. Thus the extravagant shapes and floor-length hems central to the trend reflected worldly developments that weren’t controlled by those at the top of the fashion hierarchy.
For an example of a trickle-across fashion trend (or theory) think about the current popularity of Ella Emhoff, the stepdaughter of Vice President Kamala Harris. Emhoff arguably encompasses many present fashion trends, including gender fluidity. According to the president of Emhoff’s modeling agency, Emhoff represents the belief that fashion is “not really about shape, size, or gender anymore.”
Yet this trend is not solely the creation of Emhoff or people connected to power and affluence. This trend seems to come from people of multiple economic classes. One does not need wealth or celebrity to create a fashion that challenges traditional notions of gender and beauty.